Most Canterbury rivers are still under irrigation restrictions, despite rain in parts of the drought designated region over the past two weeks.
However, rain in the foothills has allowed some restrictions to be eased, such as in the Ashburton River catchment.
Canterbury Regional Council's monitoring and compliance manager, Marty Mortiaux, said the moisture had brought some relief to pastures and crops, but not to most irrigators.
He said south and mid-Canterbury received most of the rainfall and north Canterbury had almost nothing, so the north Canterbury rivers were still "very much on restriction".
Mr Mortiaux said even in mid and south Canterbury, while the rain was very good and gave some hope for grass growth, it had not been enough.
"We really need some prolonged (rain) periods now to get things moving again, particularly in north Canterbury," he said.
A downpour that hit Alexandra in Central Otago at the weekend did not appear to have done much to break the drought in that region.
A farmer north of the town said he got just four millimetres of rain, and the area remained very dry.